List of terms for gay in different languages

This is a list of terms which are widely used today to refer to "gay" in different languages and which derive from concepts unrelated to homosexuality (e.g. the words "gay" or "pederast") or its common stereotypes. Their original meanings are also given.

Language Term Literal meaning Style
Afrikaans moffie diminutive derogatory
Arabic لوطي (lūŧī) of Lot's people; Sodomite derogatory (religious)
Arabic مثلي (miθli) of the same neutral
Arabic منحرف (munħaraf) queer/out of line slightly derogatory
Arabic شاذ (shað) weird, queer, pervert neutral
Arabic خول (khawal) gay highly derogatory (Egypt)
Armenian միասեռամոլ (miaseramol) homosexual neutral
Bangla Somo-kaami, gay, queer, homo(homo) homo(sexual), gay neutral
Bulgarian хомо (homo) homo(sexual) slightly derogatory
Bulgarian педал (pedal) pedal derogatory
Chinese (Cantonese) 基佬 (gēi-lóu) 'basic' man (the Chinese character 基 (basic, pronounced: gēi) is phonetically similar to 'gay') slightly derogatory
Chinese (Mandarin) 同性恋 (tóngxìnglián) same-sex love/yearning neutral (technical; equivalent to English "homosexual")
Chinese (Mandarin) 同志 (tóngzhì) comrade neutral (informal; equivalent to English "gay"); a pun on Communist usage of the word
Chinese (Mandarin) 玻璃 (bōlī) glass, crystal derogatory
Czech teplouš warm slightly derogatory
Czech buzna/buzerant faggot derogatory
Czech bukvice beechnut slightly derogatory
Danish bæskubber feces-pusher derogatory; used for men
Danish bøsse gun neutral; used for men
Danish lebbe ? neutral or slightly derogatory; used for women
Danish svans tail derogatory; used for men
Dutch nicht niece derogatory
Dutch poot paw derogatory
Dutch flikker slang for "penis" highly derogatory
Dutch mietje diminutive of girl's given name, "little Mie" slightly derogatory
Dutch pot pot (for lesbians) derogatory
Dutch tapet from French "tapette": fly swatter (Flemish only) derogatory
English gay joyous, cheery, bright, lively neutral
English queer strange slightly derogatory or neutral
English poofter (or poofta) an openly homosexual man derogatory
English faggot, fag bundle of sticks or branches, see faggot (wood) derogatory
English fruit fruit slightly derogatory
English fairy fairy slightly more derogatory
English bufftie ? derogatory (Scotland)
English dyke ? derogatory; used for women
English puff (or poof) ? derogatory
English queen queen derogatory; used for men
English fudge-packer fudge-packer derogatory; used for men
Esperanto geja gay (cf. gaja = joyous, cheery, bright, lively) neutral
Esperanto samseksema tending to the same sex neutral
Finnish hintti, hinttari ? derogatory
Finnish hinuri tower (as in a person who tows) derogatory
Finnish lepakko bat (the animal) slightly derogatory; used for lesbians
Finnish ruskean reiän ritari knight of the brown hole highly derogatory
Finnish homo short of "homosexual" neutral
French folle feminine of "fou" derogatory
French tante, tata aunt, auntie slightly derogatory
French tantouze augmentative of "tante" derogatory
French tapette flyswatter derogatory
French pédé pederast attractive lad derogatory
French gouine "lesbienne" or dyke derogatory
French il en est he's one of them slightly derogatory
French (Quebec) fifi, fif stereotypical name for a poodle derogatory
French (Quebec) grande same meaning as "folle" derogatory
French (Quebec) gai gay neutral
German Schwanzlutscher cocksucker highly derogatory
German schwul warm, hot (cf. schwül which means warm and moist weather) neutral, formerly derogatory
German Schwuchtel mock feminine of schwul derogatory
German schwule Sau lit. gay sow highly derogatory
German Schwuppe Schwuler in northern Germany neutral
German Tunte (cf. "Tante" = aunt) used for effeminate men slightly derogatory
German warmer Bruder lit. warm brother slightly derogatory, anachronism
German 175er see Paragraph 175 archaic, neutral, or slightly derogatory
Greek αδερφή (adherfí) sissy derogatory
Greek αρσενοκοίτης (arsenokítis) man who lies down with men derogatory, religious
Greek κίναιδος (kínedhos) shame-mover archaic, derogatory
Greek κουνιστός (kunistós) moving derogatory for effeminate men
Greek λούγκρα (lúgra) gluttonous woman derogatory for men
Greek μπινές (binés) [from Turkish "ibne"] derogatory for men
Greek ντιγκιντάγκας (digidángas) making ding-dang sounds derogatory for men
Greek ξεφωνημένη (ksefoniméni) screaming woman derogatory for effeminate men
Greek πισωγλέντης (pisoghléntis) enjoys it from the back derogatory for men
Greek πούστης (poústis) faggot derogatory
Greek συκιά (sikiá) fig-tree slightly derogatory
Greek σαπφίδα (sapfídha) Sappho fan positive or neutral, literary
Greek τζιβιτζιλού (dzividzilú) [gay slang for lesbians] slightly derogatory
Greek τοιούτος (tiútos) of that kind old-fashioned, neutral
Greek τριβάδα (trivádha) rubber archaic, derogatory for women
Haitian masisi ? ?
Haitian sis kouler six colors (reference to rainbow) ?
Hawaiian māhū homosexual derogatory
Hebrew גאה (m: ge'e, f: ge'a) proud neutral (positive)
Hebrew הומו (homo) homo(sexual) neutral
Hebrew עליז (aliz) gay, happy, joyful neutral, anachronism
Hebrew קומקום (koomkoom) kettle, water boiler derogatory
Hungarian buzi sodomite (from German Buserant, originating indirectly from "Bulgarian" as "heretic") derogatory
Hungarian homokos sandy derogatory
Hungarian köcsög jug, pitcher derogatory
Hungarian meleg warm neutral, PC
Interlingua gay English loanword neutral
Inuktitut ᐊᖑᑕᐅᖃᑎᒥᓂᒃᑐᖅᑎᓘᓐᓃᑦ (angutauqatiminiktuqtiluunniit) gay/male prostitute derogatory
Inuktitut ᐊᕐᓇᐅᖃᑎᒥᓂᒃᑐᖅᑎᓘᓐᓃᑦ (arnauqatiminiktuqtiluunniit) lesbian/female prostitute derogatory
Inuktitut ᐊᓪᓚᑦ (allat) strangers derogatory
Inuktitut ᐊᕐᓈᓗᒃ (arnaaluk) bitch derogatory
Inuktitut ᐊᖑᑕᐅᖃᑎᒥᓂᒡᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᐅᖃᑎᒥᓂᒡᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᐃᒃᖠᒍᓱᒃᑐᖅ (angutauqatiminigluunniit arnauqatiminigluuniit ikłigusuktuq) "homosexual" (literally 'male-male and female-female who has a craves or lust) neutral
Inuktitut ᒐᐃ (gai) loanword "gay" neutral
Inuktitut ᓖᓱᐱᐊᓐ(liisupian) loanword "lesbian" neutral
Irish aerach airy as "gay" (loan-translation from English) neutral
Irish piteog Effeminate man neutral or derogatory depending on usage
Italian finocchio fennel (a herb) derogatory
Italian frocio old term for the Swiss Pope guards in Rome derogatory
Italian culattone fat ass derogatory
Italian ricchione faggot derogatory
Japanese 同性愛者(dōseiaisha) homosexual person neutral
Japanese ゲイ(gei) "gay" neutral; used for men
Japanese ホモ(homo) "homo(sexual)" derogatory; used for men
Japanese ネコ (neko) cat slightly derogatory; used for effeminate men
Japanese おかま, オカマ, お釜 (okama) cooking pot (originally a slang word for ass) derogatory; used for men
Japanese おなべ (onabe) pot derogatory; used for lesbians
Japanese レズ (rezu) abbreviation of "レズビアン(rezubian)" slightly derogatory; used for women
Japanese レズビアン (rezubian) "lesbian" neutral; used for women
Kalaallisut angutinoortoq gay derogatory
Kalaallisut homoq loanword "homosexual" neutral
Kalaallisut arnanoortoq lesbian neutral
Kalaallisut liisupeq/liisbeq loanword "lesbian" neutral
Korean 동성애자(dongseongaeja) homosexual person neutral
Korean 게이(ge-i) from English gay neutral or slight derogatory; used for men
Korean 호모(homo) from homosexual derogatory; used for men only
Korean 이반(ee-ban) the second common neutral(positive or PC)
Lithuanian gėjus gay neutral, male
Lithuanian gaidys rooster, also used for lowest caste of prisoners derogatory
Lithuanian pydaras, pyderastas pederast derogatory
Lithuanian žydras(is) the baby-blue one neutral or slightly derogatory
Luxembourgish lénks left neutral or derogatory
Luxembourgish tatta aunty derogatory; used for effeminate men
Macedonian пешкир (peškir) towel derogatory
Malay manya drag queen slightly derogatory
Norwegian rompis play on the Norwegian word for comrade "kompis", rompis it therefore a friend of the ass derogatory; used for men
Norwegian skeiv crooked, as in not straight neutral
Norwegian traktorlesbe Tractor lesbian, often referring to butch woman wearing manly workingclothes derogatory; used for lesbians
Norwegian homse slang derived from "homo" neutral; used for men
Norwegian skinkerytter "ham-rider", straightforwardly someone who engages in anal sex derogatory; used for men
Norwegian bæsjdytter "poop-shover", straightforwardly someone who engages in anal sex derogatory; used for men
Norwegian bønnebryter "bean-breaker", straightforwardly someone who engages in anal sex derogatory; used for men
Polish gej gay neutral
Polish pedał pedal derogatory
Polish homoś a homo derogatory
Polish kochający inaczej the one who loves in a different way slightly derogatory
Polish ciota aunt (augmentative) derogatory
Polish pedzio diminutive av pedal derogatory
Polish pederasta pederast - assfucker derogatory
Portuguese (rapaz/garoto) alegre, alegrete, alegrinho, gaiato, Gaius gay lad, merry boy somewhat neutral, jocose
Portuguese almofadinha a dandy, pansy, sissy slightly derogatory
Portuguese amante socrático Socratic lover neutral, jocose
Portuguese baitola fag, from the British pronuntiation of "bitola", a tool used in the construction of Northeastern railways in the 19th century derogatory
Portuguese Bambi Disney's character, deer = gay, a twinky bottom slightly derogatory, jocose
Portuguese Barbie-Ken; rato-de-academia; bofe-Barbie big muscles gay, gay gym rat slightly derogatory, jocose
Portuguese biba, bibinha, bibete queer, camp, hoity-toity slightly derogatory, somewhat neutral
Portuguese bicha, bichete, bichinha a mammal's female, fag derogatory
Portuguese bicha-louka, bicha-afetada, bate-cabelo, bichona, biba-doida, insanamente-biba, bicha metida aparecida, plus-afetadão, afetado-demais, effeminatus, epiceno affected, insanely queer/camp, effeminate, epicene derogatory
Portuguese bofe, bofão, bofiscândalo, sem-camisa Butch, buffy butch, scandalously butch hunk, shirtlifter somewhat neutral
Portuguese boiola used to designate delicate little boys, young lads working in theatrical sketches and musicals in the late 19th and early 20th century derogatory (Brazil)
Portuguese calipígeo, Vênus calipígea callipygian, callipygous, ass queen derogatory
Portuguese caminhoneira / truck dyke truck dyke slightly derogatory, somewhat neutral
Portuguese do babado from the scene, queer, camp slightly derogatory, somewhat neutral, jocose
Portuguese (sub)entendido implied, the understood one slightly derogatory, somewhat neutral
Portuguese efebo, ephebus, efebinho / twinky ephebe, from Ancient Rome and Greece, a twinky, diminutive of ephebus = a twinky bottom somewhat neutral
Portuguese enrustido, retranca, caso-de-closet, não-sai-do-armário, tá-no-armário closet case, closet queen derogatory
Portuguese florzinha / violetinha / fadinha little flower, pansy, sissy, camp, fairy slightly derogatory
Portuguese fresco, frescurite, fresquinho, afrescalhado (fresh, cool) a dandy, pansy, sissy slightly derogatory
Portuguese frouxo, frouxinho pussy, weak slightly derogatory
Portuguese frutinha, fruta little fruit or fruit, camp slightly derogatory
Portuguese gay, gayzinho gay neutral
Portuguese gilete / corta dos dois lados / ambivalente / bi bisexual, bi-curious, double-edge blade, literally slightly neutral
Portuguese heteroflexível heteroflexible, bi-curious neutral
Portuguese homo homo neutral
Portuguese invertido / détour / desviado / parafílico inverted / deviated / paraphiliac derogatory, old-fashioned
Portuguese lésbica, safista, sapho, tríbade lesbian, sapphist, tribade neutral
Portuguese lésbica baton & rímel, femme, femina, sapatinha mini saia, sandalinha femme, lipstick lesbian slightly derogatory, jocose
Portuguese lésBicha LezFaggian, an effeminate gay guy who get to know straight sex jocose
Portuguese mariquinha(s), marica(s) pussy, pansy; from Ancient Greek "Marikas", an Eupolis comedy derogatory
Portuguese michê, michet male hooker, hustler derogatory
Portuguese morde-fronha literally translated "pillowcase biter", a bottom, passive role derogatory
Portuguese moto-lesbo, motor-lésbica dyke on byke neutral, jocose
Portuguese paneleiro vendor of pots and pans highly derogatory (Portugal)
Portuguese pédé, pedê / pederasta, paiderastes attractive pederast lad and a sugar daddy, boy lover neutral or derogatory
Portuguese popozete, cuzin, bundinha, bumbunzin, retaguarda, traseirinha, derrière derived from popo/cu/bunda/bumbum, meaning "tooshie/asshole/butt, bum/booty/rear" derogatory
Portuguese rabeta, rabete, rabicó the one who likes (or has) buttocks/tail derogatory (Portugal)
Portuguese roto torn derogatory (Portugal)
Portuguese queima-rosca the one who has anal sex, a bottom, passive role, literally translated "doughnut burner" derogatory
Portuguese sapatão, sapatona, numero 43, bico largo 42, botinão, mulé-macho, machona, virago dyke, virago, literally translated "huge manly shoes / manly boots" derogatory
Portuguese sodomita sodomite derogatory, old-fashioned
Portuguese sugador, sorvedouro / xupa-rola / engole-cacete, engole-pica / engolidor / lambe-bola, lambe-saco / chupador, chupeteiro, chupão / sentador / levanta-camisa / boqueteiro, cai-de-boca cocksucker / swallower / balllicker / cockseater / shirtlifter / a header slag, from boquete = blowjob derogatory
Portuguese totalflex / carru hybridu from hybrid car, bisexual or a versatile gay person jocose, somewhat neutral
Portuguese travesti, traveku, boneca, mona, quase-mulher, transex, transgênero, mademoiselle-garçon, imitador do bellu sexu, Tgirl transvestite, tranny, shemale, Ladyboy, Tgirl jocose, somewhat neutral
Portuguese uranista uranist neutral or derogatory
Portuguese veado, veadinho deer, little deer = a twinky bottom neutral or derogatory (Brazil)
Portuguese velcro, grudar/colar velcro; bate-bolacha, bate-biscoito; tesourinhas tribbing; "hook-and-loop fasteners sexgame"; "scissor sisters", tribadism, "mashing cookies" slightly derogatory, somewhat neutral, jocose
Romanian bulangiu from "bulan", police stick. Bulangiu also means "one that does not hold his part of a deal", and is more likely to be used with this meaning derogatory
Romanian poponar derived from popou, meaning "tooshie" highly derogatory
Romanian curist derived from cur, meaning "ass" derogatory
Romanian găozar derived from găoază/găoz, meaning "ass hole" derogatory
Romanian pe invers (adj.) Adjective meaning "on reverse" somewhat neutral
Russian пидор, пидарас, педик (pidor, pidaras, pedik) pederast derogatory
Russian гей gay neutral
Russian голубой (goluboy) light blue neutral
Russian гомик (gomik) derived from homo derogatory
Serbian peder gay - word derived from pederast derogatory
Serbian homo homosexual derogatory
Serbian buljaš butty boy derogatory
Serbian peškir towel derogatory
Serbian gej gay neutral
Slovak buzerant/buzík faggot derogatory
Slovak gej gay neutral
Slovak homoš homo derogatory
Slovak štvorpercentný four-percent neutral
Slovak teploš fagot derogatory
Slovak teplý warm slightly derogatory
Slovene toplovodar anachronistic, literally "warm-water person" derogatory
Spanish marica, mariquita, maricón alteration of "Mary" derogatory
Spanish sarasa bad-life-woman derogatory
Spanish bujarrón sodomite derogatory
Spanish loca, locaza feminine form of crazy derogatory
Spanish mariposón big butterfly derogatory (Mexico)
Spanish muerdealmohadas 'pillow-biter' derogatory
Spanish jamaicón from Jamaica derogatory
Spanish afrancesado As a french person neutral (Argentina)
Spanish puñal dagger highly derogatory (Mexico)
Spanish puto male prostitute highly derogatory (Latin America)
Spanish joto from the Jack on the card decks, named "joto", "la jota" in mexican Spanish highly derogatory (Mexico)
Spanish de ambiente from the scene neutral
Spanish entendido the understood one neutral
Spanish pato duck derogatory (Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela)
Spanish plumifero 'with feathers' derogatory (Puerto Rico)
Spanish cueco unknown origin derogatory (Panama)
Swedish bög crooked neutral, formerly derogatory
Swedish bajspackare fudge packer derogatory
Swedish fikus ficus derogatory
Swedish stjärtlymmel ass rascal derogatory
Swedish stjärtdykare ass diver derogatory
Tagalog bakla unknown; can also be used to describe things used by a male judged to be too effeminate (e.g. cosmetics, toiletries, clothing) neutral or slightly derogatory
Tagalog bading unknown neutral or slightly derogatory
Tagalog baklita unknown neutral or slightly derogatory
Tagalog binabae effeminate neutral
Tagalog vaklush unknown neutral or slightly derogatory
Tagalog vaklushii unknown neutral or slightly derogatory
Visayan monmon unknown neutral or slightly derogatory
Turkish eşcinsel homosexual neutral
Turkish top ball derogatory
Turkish nonoş old meaning: "cute, dear", now slang for effeminate gays derogatory
Turkish yumuşak soft derogatory
Turkish ibne homosexual (Arabic lit. feminine form of 'son', like in German 'Sohnin') derogatory
Turkish kulampara Persian for 'boy lover', used for top gay men, particularly those who like younger persons archaic, derogatory
Welsh hoyw happy, jolly neutral
Yiddish פֿײגעלע (feygele) "little bird" - a diminutive of bird (פֿויגל) slightly derogatory
IsiZulu unqingili ? derogatory

See also

External links

Beware that some of the translations given in the following pages are for "gay" in the traditional sense of "joyful".

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